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“Our vision was to make the ITC as close to a manufacturing facility as we could, with safety as the utmost concern in the lab areas,” said Allen. “The facility is OSHA compliant, complete with all of the necessary signage in areas where Personal Protective Equipment is required.” The floors are striped for floor and forklift traffic, and the welding area has a state-of-the-art smoke extraction system.

During spring semester there were 105 Welding students and 50 HVAC students. “The welding booths were at capacity from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. on the Pendleton Campus. HVAC was also out of space,” Allen added. “There were 32 welding booths at Pendleton. We couldn’t meet industry’s demand for skilled welders. In the new facilit , there are 48 booths, and we have the capacity for 72 students. A big change is the no- wait factor for using the welding booths,” he said.

The facility includes an 11,000-square-foot welding laboratory with 48 welding booths and a 4,000 square foot fabrication area, a 6,000-square-foot HVAC lab, three classrooms, an open computer laborator , seven offices, and a faculty work area. In addition, there is approximately 8,000 square feet of space available for future program development.

Existing equipment was refurbished and moved to the center, and new equipment also was purchased, including a new $58,000 robot and a $78,000 manufacturing cell for the welding program, as well as all-new gas packs for the heating and air conditioning units in the HVAC program.

This year the EIT Division began the process of blending the HVAC and Building Construction programs to become a single, more multi-functional degree.

“Our advisory committees recognized that the HVAC students need an additional skill set (offered through Building Construction) that includes plumbing, electrical wiring, and carpentry for floor and ductwork,” said Allen. Adding these courses to an already strong degree offering makes our HVAC graduates much more marketable. As the economy improves and new construction, along with renovations of existing

buildings increase, our graduates will be in a strong position to join the growing workforce.”

“It’s like a new program now with very up-to-date equ pment. We are learning on the latest and greatest. It makes me eager to learn.”

~Jessica Gray-Brewer Welding Major

Industrial Technology Center at a Glance

  • Opened Spring Semester 2013

  • Centrally located in Sandy Springs to

serve three-county area

  • 43,000-square-foot building (refurbished vacant facility)

  • Designed to mimic real-world industrial setting

  • 11,000-square-foot welding laboratory with 48 welding booths and a 4,000 square foot fabrication area

  • 6,000-square-foot HVAC lab

  • Three classrooms, an open computer laborator , seven offices, a faculty work area

  • A $250,000 grant from the Appalachia Regional Commission will assist with the expansion of welding booths (an increase of 48 to 72).

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